Buffaloswans
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Buffaloswans

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | SELF

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | SELF
Band Americana Folk

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Out of all the buildings in the industrial maze at the east end of Hastings, Scott Bell manages to set up his studio in the only one where they aren’t making some type of textile or synthetic product. It smells really good in the hall leading up to the studio; “They make soya based food here,” says Bell. And that’s not the only thing wholesome and earthy being produced in that building. Bell has been recording, producing and playing music nearly his whole life and he was kind enough to share the final recordings of the project he and his closest friends have been working on, Buffaloswans.

“It started out as a recording project in 2006,” recalls Bell as he reclines on a couch in the studio control room. “Me being the studio guy that I am, I wanted to get out of my bedroom and sing so I asked some friends to help me make this record and it slowly turned into a band.”

Buffaloswans is now a “five- to seven-piece beast” with an official line-up of James Lamb on lead guitar, James Green on bass, Jobi Mihajlovich on keys and back-up vocals and her brother Stephan on percussion. Bell met most of his bandmates while contributing to their solo efforts and after spending and afternoon talking with Scott Bell and James Lamb, it is clear that the members of Buffaloswans are deep into imagery and the science behind recording as a means to convey their art.

“Buffaloswans is the pairing of male and female components: dualism. It’s the overcoming of two opposite things, so instead of seeing the buffalo as one aspect and the swan as one aspect, they sort of mated and married and swallowed each other,” explains Bell. “So the topics on the record are more about the human condition and overcoming conflict.”

The elements of resolution and community are prominent in the full and joyous music. It has a country charm with the playfulness of funk and soul and being that the band members come from across Canada and the U.S. (Bell is from Tulsa, Oklahoma), it could be considered a piece of Canadiana, with one part Americana. The three unmastered songs Bell showcased had epic and dynamic qualities such as a quintet of horns and reeds to a strings section.

“I would call myself an impressionist when it comes to recording. How do you imbue the quality and sound of a band through speakers when there is no air moving except the past pushing sound waves through for you to experience in the future?” proposes Bell. “It’s such an odd task.”

Bell and other bandmates record other musicians and have had a lot of experience and time to plan the sound of Buffaloswans.

“I’ve had bands that want to record everything in one take with one mic and I get that but it’s not more pure because you are filtering reality through a hole this big,” he says making a twoonie sized hole with his hand. “I think we do justice to our recordings live, we know what needs to go into it, but when it comes to recording I’m pretty interested in going over the top.”

After hearing those recordings, it’s hard to believe that that statement is true. Conveniently enough just hours after the interview Buffaloswans had a show at the W.I.S.E hall. It was amazing how the band was able to use their chemistry to recreate that full sound.

“One thing people comment on when they see us live is how much we fill up the stage, that we have an amazing connection. Everyone has become really tight and we have the same goal and that is to connect with people.” - Kathrine Green/BeatRoute Magazine


We all gathered at the Toast Collective to listen to the new record titled "The Body Electric" by a band called Buffaloswans.

Lead singer Scott Bell gets on stage truly humbled by the number of people who showed up just to take a listen. We all took a seat on the floor and listened to Scott passionately talk about the new album... then the masterpiece was heard.

I closed my eyes and was really able to immerse myself in every song. Soothing male and female vocals, brilliant folk rhythm that flowed very nicely with the use of many instruments. Songs would trail off into an unexpected folk-psychedelic movement. Heads swaying with every note. It really was where I wanted the music to go.

As you can tell I had a great time. Scott even stopped the album at what would be the end of Side A. Just as if you were listening to a record at home, you get a moment to stop and think about what you had just heard and then Side B began your experience all over again.

The Buffaloswans record will be out within the next 6 months, I will be sure to keep everyone posted. - The Show Loner


Discography

"The Body Electric" 2011 LP

"Sun Hymn" 2010 EP

Live @ The Waterfront Theater in Vancouver (CBC Canada Live Series) 2009 CBCRadio2.ca

"Buffaloswans" 2007 LP

Photos

Bio

Buffaloswans are a delicious mix of roots, country, folk and 70s psychedelic rock. Made up of exquisitely talented musicians and sound engineers; Scott Bell, James Lamb, Jobi Mihajlovich, James Green, and Stephan Mihajlovich  the band creates truly profound listening experiences together. Through their dynamic recordings, serenely mystical lyricism, and powerful stage presence the band continues to elevate their growing audience. Buffaloswans performed on tour at various venues and festivals around Western Canada, and are well known as a shimmering light within the local music scene in Vancouver where they have performed in countless venues, including many CBC  events with everyone from Dan Mangan to Two Hours Traffic. Buffaloswans’ impassioned performances will immediately leap into your feet, dance over your listening heart and leave you with magic in your mind for moons to come.